After years of feeling the wrath of college football fans, Bowl Championship Series conference commissioners are finally caving to pressure to change their much maligned system.
The commissioners announced Wednesday that they have “developed a consensus on a four-team seeded playoff” beginning with the 2014-15 season. The commissioners will present their recommendation to a committee of university presidents next Tuesday in Washington. The BCS oversight committee must still approve a proposed playoff structure to replace the BCS system that has been in place since 1998.
And while many consider the announcement to be a significant step toward a better way to determine a national champion, the plans are far from set in stone.
One of the biggest details left to be decided is how the four teams will be selected. According to ACC Commissioner John Swofford, some commissioners are partial to using a selection committee similar to the one used to seed the NCAA basketball tournaments and the postseason events in other sports. But the weight a BCS conference champion would receive over an at-large team from a BCS or non-BCS conference remains a key issue.
“There’s a positive impression on the role the basketball committee has played and there’s been a consensus that the current system is pretty flawed in a lot of ways,” Pacific-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said.
Yeah, no kidding. Finally, college football fans — and the Boise States of the world — have something better to look forward to. And starting two years from now, undefeated teams like TCU (2009 and ’10), Cincinnati (2009) and Auburn (2004) will get their shot at a national championship.
But if the selection process overly emphasizes major conference schedules and titles, how different will it really be? Is a four-team playoff a major step forward or just a repackaged BCS?
Sally Jenkins: College football playoff proposals are repackaged corruption